Archive for February, 2015

Quitting Smoking Too Difficult? Try A Talking Cigarette Pack!

If you think the warning signs on your cigarette pack aren’t effective enough to help you quit smoking, this new invention might be the answer: A teenager from Dubai created a cigarette pack that talks!

achilles ash dubai invention talking cigarette packDubai resident Achilles Ash, 14 years old, created a special flip-top cigarette box that activates an audio-recorded message that tells about the health risks of smoking. The mechanism is similar to a musical birthday card that plays a tune when the reader opens it. The teenager believes that his invention would leave a more lasting impact on the smoker than the printed warning ads. “It would be much more effective than the written warnings. They are also economically viable as I was able to get a chip from a card I bought for (2 Dirham),” Ash said.

The whole idea sprung up when he remembered how amused he was with musical cards. “Suddenly, this idea stuck me and I bought a new musical card and took out the chip and tried working with it… My father brought me an old cigarette packet. I also attached the red light from the card on to the cigarette packet. So when the packet is opened, the red light shines to warn the person, and the recorded message starts,” Ash added.

Ash began his personal quest against smoking when he experienced his first puff at age five. “I tried a puff and that was it. I started coughing and found it very hard to breathe,” the young inventor said.

[ Image source: The National UAE ]

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More Than Half of Pregnant Teenagers Use Drugs and Alcohol

Pregnancy is a highly sensitive condition for many women, but a large proportion of teenage pregnancies are jeopardized by use of alcohol and drugs.

drinking and smoking pregnant womanThis was reported by a recent study by The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, in which Christopher Salas-Wright and a team of researchers investigated a possible link between teenage pregnancy and substance abuse. The research team discovered that 59 percent of pregnant teenagers have used drugs or alcohol for the past 12 months. It also revealed that 34 percent of pregnant adolescents aged 12 to 14 used controlled substances in the past 30 days prior to the survey. Details of the study were published in the Addictive Behaviors’ Spring 2015 edition.

The study used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2012, specifically on teenage girls 12 to 17 years old. Out of the representative sample of 97,850 female adolescents, 810 of them declared that they were with child. Questions from the survey included use of illicit substances such as cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamines, and alcohol.

According to a news release by UT, alcohol tops the most commonly used substances by pregnant teens, pegged at 16 percent. Cannabis and other illicit substances follow suit at 14 and 5 percent, respectively.

Salas-Wright, an assistant professor at UT, said that their study was the largest research on teenage pregnancy and substance use. The team emphasized the importance of information to prevent substance use by pregnant teens. “Mothers’ substance use during pregnancy can have important consequences for the health and development of newborn babies. Despite efforts to prevent substance use among pregnant teens, our findings suggest that we still have a lot of work to do,” said Salas-Wright.

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Colorado Teen With Cerebral Palsy Denied Medical Marijuana Use In School

Although the state of Colorado allows medical marijuana distribution to patients with prescriptions, a recent incident highlights some restrictions to the bill.

cannabis oilOfficials at Everitt Middle School confiscated medical marijuana from a teenager diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Fourteen-year-old student Jack Linn was allowed prescription of medical marijuana (in the form of cannabis oil) for his condition, but bringing it in school premises is not allowed by the school officials.

The school’s administration staff based its decision on federal law, which prohibits marijuana to be brought to schools and educational institutions. The confiscation occurred when Linn was found being treated with marijuana oil by his personal nurse on school grounds.

Stacey Linn, the teen’s mother, was furious with the incident, but blames the incorrect policy rather than the school implementing such federal restriction. “It’s outrageous. I’m not going to blame the school because they’re following a policy. I blame the policy. It scares me to death that medicine can be taken away from him. Medicine that saves his life,” Linn’s mother said in a news release.

The principal of Everitt Middle School said they will abide with federal law to avoid risk of losing financial support from the federal government.

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British Teen Death Caused By Drug Cocktail

drug mixtureA male teenager in the U.K. was reported dead in September 2014 after taking a mixture of drugs that have been deemed deadly. A recent inquest determined that the cause of death was indeed due to the deadly drug cocktail. Arron Matschy, 19 years old and a resident of Normandy Road, Worthing, combined amphetamine, codeine and fentanyl and took the mixture without knowing its effect on the body.

According to a recent inquest proceeding in relation to the teen’s death, Matschy spent the night at the house of his then-girlfriend Toni Forrest. His death was caused by the fatal mixture of the drugs that were metabolized in his body. The coroner’s report declared traces of morphine in the boy’s body. Penelope Schofield, coroner at West Sussex, said that the demise of Matschy was caused by accident. “From the evidence I have heard it’s clear to me that he was mixing the drugs and probably had no idea of the potential cocktail he was building in his body… The coroner’s officer said that some of those drugs could actually aggregate the toxicity of the other drugs,” Schofield said.

Matschy’s father said in a news report that his son was under serious self-esteem issues and would sometimes think negatively. “Arron had this dark said that he would go to that even I couldn’t reach him… Once he was in there even I couldn’t reach him,” the boy’s father said.

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